Ohio board vote on transgender student issue delayed. What comes next?

The resolution has been sent to executive committee, with some board members asking for legal ramifications.

The Ohio State Board of Education voted 12-7 to send a resolution rejecting new Title IX guidelines protecting transgender youth to the executive committee on Wednesday.

The motion essentially tabled the issue, to which some members of the board objected. A new date to vote on or discuss the resolution has not been set.

“I believe as education leaders in Ohio, we must take a stand on one of the defining issues impacting education today,” said board member Brendan Shea, who introduced the resolution.

Shea’s resolution is written specifically to oppose regulations protecting transgender students, though the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed guidelines involve all LGBTQ+ youth. Shea represents parts of Greene County.

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The resolution would replace some of the federal funding that Ohio schools would be losing if they oppose the resolution and calls on the state’s legislature to pass further laws around transgender students. Some of that federal funding would include school lunch funding.

Critics of the resolution said it was scientifically incorrect and does not support the needs of children, particularly transgender students.

The resolution was introduced last month. An amended resolution with some of the more inflammatory language Shea included was introduced this month, but that amended resolution is considered an extension of the original and will continue to executive committee.

Board member Tim Miller from Akron proposed sending the resolution to the committee.

“I want to know what the legal ramifications would be,” Miller said.

Because of the rules about debate for the state school board, the actual resolution was not debated during the meeting. But some members disagreed on how many people were interested in seeing the resolution pass.

The school board began listening to public comment, almost exclusively about the resolution, at 1 p.m. and didn’t finish until after 5 p.m. More than 100 people spoke, and more signed up to speak than were able to testify.

Public testimony included leaders of Ohio education organizations, transgender students, religious organizations, attorneys, teachers and school board members.

This resolution is not the only opposition to the new Title IX regulations in Ohio. Ohio Attorney General David Yost joined 21 other states in July in filing a lawsuit against the proposed changes to Title IX.

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